Assessment is an integral part of the teaching process which supports learning. It helps teachers, learners, parents and others to understand the depth and breadth of learning undertaken so that progress and next steps can be discussed and planned. It refers to the wide variety of methods and tools that teachers use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, or educational needs of their children.
ASSESSMENT AT WESTFIELDS JUNIOR SCHOOL
The National Curriculum sets out clear objectives and expectations for each year group. At Westfields Junior School, we assess the children against these end of year expectations across each core subject (reading, writing and maths), awarding one of the following:
WHAT DOES ASSESSMENT LOOK LIKE?
All children are continuously assessed by their teachers across all areas of the curriculum. The information gathered informs us of the progress and attainment achieved by each individual child. More importantly, information gathered informs our planning to ensure it is appropriate to the individual needs of the learner. There are two types of assessment:
Formative Assessment is the feedback gained from learning activities. It is achieved when we:
- Make observations during the learning process;
- Talk with the children during the lesson to assess their knowledge and understanding;
- Ask a range of effective questions;
- Mark and assess the work produced by the children.
Summative Assessment is the assessment of learning. During each term, children will complete a range of assessment tasks in reading, writing and maths. The results will be used to by teachers to help inform their judgements and plan next steps for the children.
SATs are national tests that children take twice during their primary school life. Firstly, at the end of Key Stage 1 (KS1) in Year 2, and secondly, at the end of Key Stage 2 (KS2) in Year 6. These standardised tests are actually known as End of Key Stage Tests and Assessments, but most people know them as SATs.
Our pupils sit their SATs in May during Year 6. These tests are more formal than those taken in KS1 and have set been days as well as external marking. Children will complete papers in English reading comprehension, grammar, punctuation, spelling, mathematical reasoning and arithmetic.
After sitting their SATs, at the end of the year, the children will receive a scaled score. Their raw score – the actual number of marks they accrue – is translated into a scaled score; this helps to allow for differences in the difficulty of the tests from year to year so that pupils’ results can be compared accurately. You will be told your child’s raw score, scaled score and whether they have reached or exceeded the national standard for that subject at the end of the year.
HOW IS ASSESSMENT INFORMATION USED?
Each time your child moves into their next year group, their new class teacher is handed a wealth of assessment information from their previous teacher during a rigorous handover process. This ensures that the teachers can hit the ground running in September, planning with knowledge and understanding of the children in their class to ensure their individual needs are met. Ongoing assessment continues throughout the year to ensure children are supported, stretched and challenged.
Assessment information supports teachers in identifying children’s next steps and involving the children with this process is key so that they are aware of their achievements as well as their areas for development.
Most importantly, assessment information is used to monitor the progress children make from their individual starting points. We strive to ensure children reach their academic potential and close monitoring supports us with this. Should the rate of progress slow and if children require further support at any point throughout their time with us, assessment information will help identify this and intervention can be planned for and take place.
HOW WILL I KNOW ABOUT MY CHILD’S ATTAINMENT AND PROGRESS?
At the end of each term, you will receive your child’s ‘Attainment and Progress Tracker’. This details your child’s current attainment towards end of year expectations for reading, writing and maths. As well as this information, you will also be able to see what your child is on track to achieve at the end of the year. You will receive the key targets your child’s class teacher has set your child in the areas of reading, writing and maths. These are personalised and tailored to address any specific areas identified for development.
During the two Parents’ Evenings held in the Autumn and Spring term, your child’s class teacher will also inform you of the progress your child is making, areas of strength and areas that require further attention or support.
At the end of the year, you will receive your child’s Annual Report which details the achievements and attainment of your child against the end of year expectations.
As ever, if you require any further details or clarification, please see your child’s class teacher.